FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Euro zone governments must keep spending heavily to aid the bloc’s recovery from its historic pandemic-induced recession, complementing already super-easy monetary policy, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Sunday.
With debt levels blowing past 100% of GDP this year, concerns are rising that politicians will struggle to push through more support and some subsidies, raising the risk that employment and income schemes could abruptly end.
“Confidence in the private sector rests to a very large extent on confidence in fiscal policies,” Lagarde said in a speech. “Continued expansionary fiscal policies are vital to avoid excessive job shedding and support household incomes until the economic recovery is more robust.”
Employment subsidy schemes have already been extended in several countries but some are advocating longer, one- or two-year extensions to bolster confidence while the bloc recovers from recession that could slash 8% from output this year.